Govt approves distribution of 7,000 solar pumps to farmers

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Oct 2018 10:18:45


Staff Reporter,

The move will benefit farmers as they can now irrigate their land during day time

Maharashtra Government on Wednesday approved distribution of 7000 solar pumps to farmers targeting irrigation of 14,000 Ha land. The scheme will also help in reducing subsidy outflow of Rs 63 crore from State exchequer in lieu of supply of subsidies power to farmers. Also it will save Rs 185 crore from cross subsidy and help channalise industrial development as power rates would get competitive.

The move also stands to benefit ryots as they can now irrigate the crops during day time. Also with demand for power now on rise, the shift of agricultural load to solar energy saves investment on costly thermal power, said Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule while informing about decision taken at cabinet meet held on Wednesday.
The solar pumps distribution is to be handled by MahaUrja, the subsidiary company of MahaGenco. Farmers need to submit their application for solar pumps to office of MahaUrja and a committee chaired by District Collector is going to finalise the names of beneficiaries. The committee will also have as Members-Tehsil, District Agriculture Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Social Welfare Department, Sr. Scientist of Groundwater Survey Board, Project Officer of Tribal Development Department, Superintending Engineer of MSEDCL and Divisional Manager of MahaUrja.

Further, cabinet also okayed a proposal of Energy Department to provide one lakh solar pumps in the State. A special scheme will be prepared in near future and funds from SC/ST Plan and Tribal Development Plan is also going to be used for solar pumps programme. Giving details of the programme, Bawankule said that 25 per cent of pumps will be of 3 HP (1750), 75 per cent pumps of 5 HP (5250) and out of that 22.5 per cent of pumps would be earmarked for SC/ST beneficiaries. The cost of 3 HP pump approved by State Government is Rs 2.40 lakh while that of 5 HP pump is fixed at Rs 3.25 and subsidy of 5 per cent is applicable in the scheme for which Central and State Government are contributing 95 per cent of funds.

The repayment for 5 HP pump will be of five year and solar module guarantee of 10-years and supplier will provide service and maintenance for five-years. Only those farmers who have assured water source are eligible for purchasing the pumps and also they must not be currently having general electric connection. Similarly, a farmer having five acres of land will get 3 HP pump and those having agricultural land of more than five acres can get 5HP pump. The Energy Department plans to provides solar pumps to ryots whose application for new agri power connection is pending with them, those in remote areas.